Severe thunderstorms, hail predicted for Northern Cape

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Severe thunderstorms with hail are expected to make landfall on Tuesday and continue until Wednesday. 

THE THUNDERSTORMS WILL MAKE LANDFALL ON TUESDAY

According to SA Weather Service (SAWS), a level 2 warning has been issued. 

The affected areas include: 

  • Hantam
  • Calvinia 
  • Karoo
  • Sutherland 
  • Nama Khoi
  • Springbok

“The strong gusty winds and a large amount of small hail are expected over an open area which can contribute to slippery roads and with the combination of reduced visibility can lead to minor vehicle accidents and longer travel times,” the SAWS said. 

RESIDENTS ARE WARNED TO STAY INDOORS

It furthermore warned residents to stay indoors away from metal objects. 

“Do not seek shelter under trees or tall objects. Do not go fishing or play golf as both the golf clubs and fishing rods are good conductors of electricity. Be aware that any combination of hail, strong winds, and/or heavy downpours can accompany the storms.” 

TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN DRIVING

All road users are requested to take extra caution:

  • Reduce speed
  • Switch on your headlights
  • Pedestrians should be careful when crossing the road
  • Avoid crossing rivers and streams where water is above your ankles

Households were urged to open/make pathways to allow water to flow out of their yards.

WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY?

In cases of an emergency, residents should contact:

  • Manguang Fire Department – 082 899 6766 or 027 718 8100
  • Ambulance – 027 752 5027

ALSO READ: Everything you need to know about the typhoid fever outbreak in SA

HOW TO MINIMISE HAIL DAMAGE:

Here are some precautions to take to prevent hail damage to your car, whether you are driving and caught in a hailstorm, or your car is parked outside at home or at work:

  • Stock up on fleecy blankets: If there is no undercover parking area to protect your car, vehicle owners should layer their cars with thick blankets to minimise the impact of hailstones and reduce the need for car dent repair. These blankets can be purchased at a minimal cost and left in the boot of your car.
  • Drive like Miss Daisy: If there is no cover nearby and you have to drive in a hailstorm, drive slowly (if possible) and cautiously. Also put your hazards and lights on. Driving cautiously may reduce damage because the hail will ricochet off the surface of the vehicle, while driving fast might cause a collision – especially on wet, slippery roads.
  • Make sure we have your number: Be sure that Santam has your cell number on record and you will receive an automated hail pre-warning message from Africa Weather to ensure you are not caught in an unexpected hailstorm while driving. In severe cases hail can be as big as a cricket ball – call 0860 505 911 to double-check your details.
  • Use your smartphone: Load the locations of nearby covered parking garages into your GPS or smartphone, which will be helpful if you’re on the road and need a safe sheltered area immediately. When hail is predicted, head for the closest undercover area to ride out the storm in safety. If you can’t reach it before the hailstones hit, pull under an overpass, a petrol station canopy or a similar spot that can protect your car from hail damage. Hail will cause more damage to a moving vehicle.
  • Find an alternative use for your floor mats: If you’re caught in a vicious hailstorm and can’t find cover, pull over in a safe location, grab the floor mats and put them on the roof and hood.

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